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Question and Answer Tracking Details

1207 - EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE WALAMA LIST

Speakman, Mark to the Attorney General
EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE WALAMA LIST

(1) What external evaluations are planned for the Walama List in the District Court?

(2) What is the timetable for each such evaluation, including milestones and their dates?

(3) If one of those evaluations is by BOCSAR:

(a) What are the criteria for that evaluation?

(b) What are the key design features of the evaluation, including sample size and any control population?

Answer -
EXTERNAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE WALAMA LIST

I am advised:

(1) Qualitative and quantitative evaluations are planned for the Walama List trial.

(2) The quantitative outcome evaluation commenced in November 2022 and will continue until a sample size of 356 Walama List participants is reached. The criterion for the quantitative evaluation consists of a randomised control trial where eligible and consenting individuals are randomised, with equal probability to the Walama List or to the regular list of the NSW District Court for sentencing.

 Associate Prof Melanie Schwartz, UNSW, Impact Policy, BOCSAR and the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), are leading the quantitative evaluation. A co-design process of the methodology is likely to finalise in 2024, with evaluation results available in 2025, subject to ethics approval being granted.

(3) (a) The key design feature of the quantitative evaluation is a minimum sample of 356 in each group (712 participants in total) to detect a 10 percentage point reduction in the proportion receiving imprisonment. Individuals randomised to Walama will be compared with individuals who are sentenced through the usual sentencing process on the following outcomes:

  • probability of a full-time prison penalty at finalisation
  • length of prison sentence at finalisation
  • total time in custody in the 12 months from randomisation
  • free time to first reoffence
  • probability of reoffending within 12 months of index finalisation
  • probability of reoffending within 12 months of free time of index finalisation
  • probability of a serious violent, property and drug offending within 12 months of free time of index finalisation
  • probability of a breach of a sentencing order within 12 months of free time of index finalisation.

(3) (b) This study will assess the implementation of the trial and identify other benefits to participants and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The methodology for the qualitative evaluation will be determined by the co-design process but will broadly seek to identify whether the Walama List:

  • operates as intended
  • is considered culturally appropriate and acceptable by List participants (including the Walama List Judges, Elders, offenders, and caseworkers)
  • increases Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people’s participation and confidence in the criminal justice system
  • confers other benefits upon participants
  • provides a targeted rehabilitative approach that addresses the criminogenic needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Question asked on 24 August 2023 (session 58-1) and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 22
Answer received on 27 September 2023 and printed in Questions & Answers Paper No. 29